Zoho planning to woo WhatsApp defectors with their own messaging app called “Arattai”

Zoho, which is the Indian SaaS or Software as a Service bootstrapped unicorn is ready to launch their own messaging app known as Arattai which is a Tamil word used for chit-chat. Zoho’s formal launch for Arattai which may be rolled out in a few weeks comes when people have started to question WhatsApp’s new privacy policies and have started to switch to other messaging apps like Signal and Telegram.

The founder of Zoho, Sridhar Vembu talked about the app at Twitter which is at present being tested in a ‘friends and family version’. It is at present available at Google Play Store and has a rating of 4.6 and around 10,000 installs and the reviews are already calling it as the “best replacement of WhatsApp”.

In the starting of 2021, WhatsApp rolled out a new update which was related mainly to the privacy policy and WhatsApp would now share data with Facebook. WhatsApp said that users won’t be able to use the app until and unless they sign up with the new rules. The information that WhatsApp will use with other Facebook companies are –

  1. Account registration information.
  2. Transaction data.
  3. Information related to how you interact with others.
  4. Mobile device information.
  5. Your IP address.
WhatsApp with ZOHO: The perfect couple | Woztell
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This is the place where Zoho’s Arattai can play on the “Made in India” and also offer a safe card as it claims that the app will not share data without the user’s consent. Arattai has more focus on privacy and also says that customer privacy is their first priority. Arattai also ensures that your data is private and can be accessed only by you. Arattai promises to be free for lifetime.

Here are the permissions needed by Arattai as mentioned at Google Play Store –

  • Microphone – record audio
  • Device ID & call information – read phone status and identity
  • Calendar – read calendar events plus confidential information, add or modify calendar events and send email to guests without owners’ knowledge
  • Contacts – read your contacts, find accounts on the device, modify your contacts
  • Storage – read the contents of your USB storage, modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
  • Phone – directly call phone numbers, read phone status and identity
  • Identity – find accounts on the device
  • Photos/Media/Files – read the contents of your USB storage, modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
  • Location – approximate location (network-based), precise location (GPS and network-based)
  • Camera – take pictures and videos
  • Other – display unauthorized windows, receive data from Internet, read Google service configuration, view network connections, draw over other apps, access Bluetooth settings
  • prevent devices from sleeping, pair with Bluetooth devices, create accounts and set passwords, full network access, change your audio settings, read terms you added to the dictionary, control vibration, run at startup.